Portlaw United 2
League leaders Villa had to fight all the way to get the better of a plucky Portlaw United team at the St Otteran’s Hospital Grounds on Saturday afternoon last.
This was the fifth successive league win for John Furlong’s outfit but they will not face a tougher task for the remainder of the season.
The opening goal arrived on 21 minutes. Daniel Hannigan played a long ball forward from just inside the halfway line. Right-full back Morgan McKnight and goalkeeper Kyle Gahan both tried to clear the danger but they got their signals mixed up and Villa captain Cameron Power took full advantage and tapped the ball into an empty net.
That goal settled the hosts and shortly afterwards Daniel Hannigan shot wide following great work on the left by Tera Agberhieare.
The Villa doubled their advantage on 28 minutes. Niall O’Keeffe floated over a flag-kick from the left and his delivery caused havoc inside the Portllaw six yards box and Jack Taylor was well placed to nudge the ball over the line from three yards.
Portlaw pulled a goal back three minutes later. Peter Woods laid the ball off to Eoin O’Brien who sent over a great cross from the left and Luke Walsh found the roof of the net with a powerful header from 16 yards.
Portlaw equalised on 51 minutes. Eric O’Mahony cracked in a blistering free kick from 25 yards. The ball came crashing back off Josh Kelly’s crossbar and Luke Walsh was well positioned to head home his second goal of the contest. It was certainly a case of game on at this stage and Evan Ryan almost put the visitors in front for the first time two minutes later but Josh Kelly did well to get a tight grip on the ball.
At the other end the superb Kyle Gahan somehow managed to keep out a rasping volley from Mike Nzongong and the goalkeeper, who has a bright future in the game, produced the goods once again on 65 minutes when he saved brilliantly from Cameron Power.
The Villa went back in front from the penalty spot on 71 minutes. Eoin O’Brien was adjudged to have got a little nick on Jack Taylor and Niall O’Keeffe gave Kyle Gahan no chance from the 12 yards spot.
Darragh Quinn almost levelled matters one minute later when he got free out on the left but his low angled shot went inches wide of the back post. The home side scored their fourth goal deep into stoppage time through Liam Barber who headed home a left wing cross from John Fred Tamen.
The final scoreline was unfair on the visitors but credit has to go to the Villa for keeping their composure under severe pressure.
VILLA: Josh Kelly, Shane O’Neill, Tera Agberhieare, Niall McSweeney, Miguel Guaadogalna,Niall O’Keeffe, Harry Lawton, Liam Barber, Jack Taylor, Daniel Hannigan, Cameron Power, Mike Nzongong, Kevin O’Toole, John Fred Tamen.
PORTLAW UNITED: Kyle Gahan, Morgan McKnight, Eoin O’Brien,Ian O’Donnell, Eric O’Mahony, Gavin Nolan, Danny Murphy, Evan Ryan, Peter Woods, Luke Walsh, Reece Halley, Darragh Quinn.
REFEREE: Michael Wall.